Our egg-laying hens are on a green field with millions of earthworms and all sorts of bugs and a large variety of native grasses, clovers and the like. Currently we have 200+ hens and we consistently collect lots eggs every day. These girls are happy and loving life!
We’d love to have you visit our hens and see how this simple, almost clean, land-feeding system works. Our eggs are available daily — more in summer, less in winter!
You might want to read this article from Mother Earth News — http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2007-10-01/Tests-Reveal-Healthier-Eggs.aspx. It mentions laboratory test results that show that eggs from hens raised on grass pastures have higher nutritional values, as well as reduced cholesterol and saturated fat. Or you might just think about it.
Mornings, when earthworms come out of the ground, our hens are happily gobbling the worms; and as bugs begin to fly, our hens snatch them right out of the air. We hear advertisements for eggs from chickens that are fed an "all vegetarian diet" and we think those must be some unhappy chickens! Our girls love protein from earthworm consumption and whatever else they find scratching on the ground all day.
We move our laying hens at least once a day (and more than once whenever we can) so that they can scratch up all new grass. They eat entire blades of grass with one clip of the beak, and they gather around sweet spots of clover to gorge on the greens. Because our hens do not stay on their own waste, pathogens don’t really have a chance to survive. The birds are over the same ground once in 30 days, and the lifespan of pathogens is typically 15 days. This means we do not have to medicate them to get rid of parasites. We think poison is poison, no matter how small the dose!
Our hens are provided with fresh water, a ration of corn, soybeans, wheat middlings and kelp daily. They have access to crushed oyster shells 24/7. We provide them with buckets of stones, and they test stone size with their beaks: as stones rattle around in the beak, proper sized stones get swallowed and go to the gullet to grind food. If a stone is the wrong size, out it goes, back onto the ground.
Have you ever seen a bird take a dust bath? Our hens will scratch until every bit of grass is gone in one spot, and then take turns rolling in the dust, fluffing their feathers and making very contented sounds. They look like they are loving life as the roll in the dust!
We know our hens are living a happy life. They make the most contended noises, look gorgeous, and produce delicious and beautiful eggs. Prior to raising chickens, we had stopped eating eggs because the taste did not agree with us. But our eggs taste delicious, and we eat them on a very regular basis.
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